The musings of an IT Consultant


August 3, 2013  8:56 PM

Meru Networks AP832



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So you’ve decided to go with 802.11ac but you’re not sure what access point to buy? I’d suggest looking at Meru Networks new AP832.

The AP832 not only allows 802.11ac but it also sports Meru Networks legendary single channel architecture. This allows for more practical use of 802.11ac in pervasive wireless environments by avoiding co-channel interference.

Meru Networks has a blog that explains how this works and you can read that here.

-RP

August 1, 2013  7:57 PM

802.11ac Wireless Adoption



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! Long time no blog! I have been away on vacation for the summer, but I’m back now to our regularly scheduled programming!

802.11ac wireless in the newest trend in the wireless industry. But the question is, should you adopt it? Well fortunately the answer is easy if you have no wireless solution currently in place. You might as well buy the latest gear so you are future proofed. But what if you already own older wireless gear?

Well then it comes down to your ROI on ac gear. If you were to outlay the money for all new access points, would the ROI be worth it? Unless you run very dense, or highly intensive wireless environments, not likely. But if you do find that you need the speed, then an ac investment should be at least looked at.

The newest gear from various vendors is very affordable and there are a few options out there already. Just remember the key thing – your clients need to support it. So if you don’t have the clients, then you can probably adopt a wait and see approach and see how the market unfolds.

In areas such as schools, this is where you will see the quickest adoption I predict. Because students are constantly coming in with the latest greatest devices from home. A lot of the newer Apple products and smartphones out there are already being sold with ac capability right out of the box. Schools that use programs that take advantage of high speed networks will greatly benefit from ac. I believe ac will reach adoption much quicker than it’s predecessors.

-RP


June 30, 2013  4:15 PM

VMware Mirage or View?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So a lot of people rushed out to embrace VDI when it first became popular and quickly realized it wasn’t for them. I’ve heard of a lot of pilots that went south. These are usually the case when people did not do the proper due diligence before implementing VDI (regardless of software vendor of choice).

However, with careful planning, you can implement VDI, and implement Mirage for areas where VDI just doesn’t make sense. So we all grasp the concept of VDI – strip down the physical hardware to the bare essentials and let the back end do all the work. But what about if you have physical high performance processing requirements?

VMware Horizon Mirage is a good play here. Mirage is designed with the physical endpoint in mind, and is also designed to work offline. Addressing the two major concerns in a traditional VDI environment (performance and offline use).

Here is a link with a table that shows you the differences of each solution from Josh Townsend who sums it up quite nicely.

-RP


June 25, 2013  2:09 AM

Brocade VCS Fabric Technology



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So if you haven’t heard, Gartner has stated that Brocade should be considered when planning our your datacenter networks. I have to agree with this statement, even though I don’t always agree with Gartner.

Brocade has shown some clear innovation since entering the networking market with their IP networking portfolio. Brocade’s VCS fabric technology is a great example of that.

Brocade VCS is an ethernet fabric that elimnates spanning tree and makes use of all links between the fabric. This coupled with tight hypervisor integration, self-healing capabilities, and automation allow it to shine in the network world.

You can read more here.

-RP


June 23, 2013  2:06 AM

Citrix XenMobile



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So as you know, with your BYOD or COPE initiatives, you should probably be considering an MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution.

There are quite a few to choose from, and depending on your needs you’ll probably decide to go one way or another. I wanted to bring your attention to a solution that you might not be aware of. The good folks at Citrix have a product called XenMobile. This is Citrix’s MDM solution and Gartner has rated them in the top right hand corner as a leading solution in the MDM space.

What’s so great about this you might ask? Well considering Citrix is considered a leader in the application delivery space for mobility, this just goes hand in hand, espeically if you’re already a Citrix shop!

You can read more here.

-RP


June 21, 2013  1:57 AM

Nimble Storage and Brocade



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So in the world of storage, many people use iSCSI based SANs these days. However, a lot of IT people don’t know how to make the best of them.

iSCSI can be a tricky beast when it comes to networking, because it has some interesting needs. I commonly see iSCSI SANs in virtual environments, and they are becoming much more common. What should you look out for? First off, make sure the SAN itself is quick. You can have the fastest network in the world, but if the SAN is not up to the task it won’t matter. Second, make sure your network switch gear can support jumbo frames and flow control. These are two items that are ideal in an iSCSI world.

Also make sure your switches can push traffic extremely fast. Don’t just assume all gigabit switches are created equal, because they’re not. Look under the hood, and even test them out if you can get a demo unit before you buy. Make sure it can forward the packets as fast as your environment needs them to. Depending on your environment’s needs – this will dictate the switches you will consider buying.

A nice pairing that exists out there right now is Nimble Storage SANs and Brocade networking. Both companies pride themselves on building performance based products and are worth a look when you are comparison shopping. You can read more here.

-RP


June 19, 2013  1:50 AM

Microsoft changes their mind about used games, but what does this mean for the IT world?



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So as you know, the competition has been fast and furious for the Xbox One and PS4. There has been an uproar over the Xbox One and all of Microsoft’s draconian polices, but on the flip side, there has been much love for the PS4 that is doing things status quo.

Items such as restrictions on how used games work and mandatory Internet check-ins has caused consumers to go into an uproar and people are voting with their wallets by not signing up for the pre-order for the Xbox One.

However, Microsoft recently did an about face and has reversed their policies and this has caused the pre-orders to take an upswing. I guess the question I would ask is, why would Microsoft try and force something like this down gamers throats in the first place? It seems like a silly chance to take in the hotly contested console wars.

The even more important question I have is, how will this affect us in the IT world? Does this mark a shift in how software companies will market enterprise business software? Will these companies require greater control of our networks and push themselves into our businesses much like Microsoft tried to do with gamers? Only time will tell, but in the end if consumers keep voicing their opinions loudly with their wallets, instead of taking things lying down, maybe we can stave off that day from happening.

-RP


June 15, 2013  1:43 AM

Troubleshooting Lync Phone Edition Sign In and Sign Out Issues



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So some people have complained about some issues with signing in and signing out with Microsoft Lync phones such as Polycom and Aastra, and incorrectly assume the problem lies with Lync.

In the cases I’ve seen, this is network related. Typically the culprit will reside in something on the network causing latency which causes the phone to sign in and out because it can’t communicate with the Lync server.

How do you troubleshoot this? Well just like anything else, you start with everything and then slowly whittle down and weed things out. Common issues can be switch loops, bad cabling, improper network hardware configuration etc.  You can use packet sniffing tools such as Wireshark to help you track the source of the issues.

Before you blame Lync, take a look at the network!

-RP


June 13, 2013  1:03 AM

IaaS in the networking world



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! So with all the noise about the cloud, it’s pretty easy to get lost. It doesn’t seem to matter where you turn, someone is mentioning something about the cloud.

Usually the noise focuses on software. But how much have you been thinking about hardware? Hardware in the cloud? How does that work? Well that basically boils down to IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). The ability to rent gear and scale up or down as need be.

This isn’t the same as leasing or financing gear, this is the ability to pay a monthly fee to get the gear you need and then to quickly change your needs on the fly by changing your payment.

One of the vendors that offers this is Brocade. They call it Brocade Network Subscription (BNS) and it allows you turn up or down your network infrastructure on the fly. Ideally this is suited to service providers who are not sure of their needs based on unplanned for growth or loss. BNS fits in perfectly in these situations.

You can read more about it here.

-RP


June 9, 2013  12:56 AM

Meru Networks MobileFLEX Architecture



Posted by: Raj Perumal
IT consultant

Hi folks! The good folks at Meru Networks have launched what they call their MobileFLEX architecture!

What is this? This is an architecture that incorporates all of Meru’s goodies. Things such as:

  • Single Channel Architecture
  • Air Time Fairness
  • Identity Management
  • Context Aware Application Layering

This is just to name a few. Meru Networks MobileFLEX aims to empower organizations to provide some of the best features for your wireless network initiatives.

-RP


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